PCT 2017

Recruitment gets personal: Localised strategies can increase participation, say site execs

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/Sean824
GettyImages/Sean824

Related tags: Clinical trial

Advertising, social media and individualised patient recruitment strategies can improve participation numbers according to clinical site executives, who say they favour a personalised approach.

Identifying which strategy – from print and digital advertising to doctor referrals – works best for a clinical trial site is important, said research organisation Glasgow Memory Clinic’s Fraser Inglis at the Partnership in Clinical Trials conference last month.

Previous attempts to improve patient recruitment – which is a major challenge​ for the industry – include raising trial awareness and education​.

“We have found for example, that television ​[advertisement] works for us, but if I speak to American sites, they say it’s not so good … others may favour newspaper,” ​Inglis said.

Social media​, which Inglis explained has “come to the force,” ​was also a preferred method for panel guest Helena Sigal, from site management organisation Sigal Site Management and Support.

On one hand, social media is a great tool to attract large audiences, but “on the other, it is difficult to find the right one,” ​she told delegates.

Some of these less traditional approaches can be hindered by vendor protocols, which often fail to cater to local patient groups, she added.

For example, study information written in English, but intended for German patients, takes too long to be translated for local subjects, the panel discussed.

By the time a protocol is translated into German, it is too late, Sigal said, adding that recruitment would be facilitated “if companies allow the site to develop their own recruitment concept.”

Managing partner of trial site Emovis GmbH, Bettina Bergtholdt, also said she prefers a personalised approach.

“Why not contact the patients directly on the street, they are adults, they can decide on their own … in my experience, it’s much more successful, and it gives a much broader range of patients,” ​she said.

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